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marguu
hardware for FCP system
on Jan 25, 2007 at 9:16:53 pm

Well, I'm about to move into the FCP world from Media 100. I'll be buying the newest version of FCP for the mac, my question is about computers. I have limited funds, and so want to buy used. (I've always done this with no problem, got two used systems with Media100 now). I'll be getting a powermac of course, my question is, what should I look for in a used version? Also, I'm hoping I can afford a powerbook also, which laptop will work well with FCP? Also, can I use the one program I purchase on the two computers? Thanks in advance for any advice.

Lynne


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Greg
Re: hardware for FCP system
by
on Jan 25, 2007 at 9:54:09 pm

I moved from Media 100 to FCP. But what I did was buy a G5 Quad refurbished from Apple. I bought Media 100 HDe and FCP. The media 100 cames with the AJA card that works with M100 and FCP. I bought a second internal hard drive, and now I have both edit systems on separate boot drives. This allows me to continue on M100 while I learn FCP. It's the best of both worlds.


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MrVideo
Re: hardware for FCP system
on Jan 25, 2007 at 10:16:49 pm

The only real Powerbook to use with FCP is a MacBook Pro 17". It has the screen real estate and the power to work with Final Cut Pro 5.1.2.

There are lots of older G5 computers out there that can work comfortably with FCP, but slower ones need longer render times and MPEG-2 encoding times to complete tasks.

Just don't make the mistake of starting with a older, slower Macintosh and blaming the application for it's slower workflow.



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Jeff Carpenter
Re: hardware for FCP system
on Jan 25, 2007 at 10:40:20 pm

"The only real Powerbook to use with FCP is a MacBook Pro 17". It has the screen real estate and the power to work with Final Cut Pro 5.1.2."
===========================

Heh, I guess I'm in trouble 'cause my 15" Mackbook Pro has more resolution than the CRT on my Powermac! I love a program based on tabs, though. It hasn't bothered me too much thus far because of that.

Anyway, Lynn, tell us what type of footage you edit with, the length of your average edit job, and how you send these jobs out (DVD? Tape?)

Someone who makes 3 hour live-event DVDs has very different needs than someone who only does :30 spots and nothing longer than 1 hour. The difference between DV and uncompressed can be a big factor too.

The advice you've gotten so far is all good, but we can give less-generic answers if we know what you're going to do with the system.


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Jeff Carpenter
Re: Also
on Jan 25, 2007 at 10:43:59 pm

I just thought of another question and an answer.

First, yes, you can use one Final Cut on a laptop and desktop provided you're only using one at a time. If you work at home or on the road, that's fine. If you have a 2nd person working at your office while you work, that won't work.

Which brings me to my question about the laptop: What's it for? Capturing and logging? Just showing clients stuff? Editing on airplanes? What you need it for can determine what system is right when it comes to portables.


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marguu
Re: hardware for FCP system
on Jan 26, 2007 at 12:14:30 am

Thanks for all the quick responses, ok Jeff, here's a more detailed account of what I need the system for. I'm starting up a new dvd label, and most of the work on this system will be editing and cleaning up existing footage that mostly will be digitized from analog sources. Programs will be from 1 up to 4 hours in length. Some HD footage will be used also, interviews and such. I'll be handing the footage over to be mastered for DVD replication to someone else. The laptop will be for taking the work-in-progress out of my studio to show/edit with my partners (since the lazy bums won't come to me ;-> ).

I don't think I'll do the dual media100/FCP thing, because I already have two (older) media100 systems set up in other offices. And the cost of the media 100 HDe is prohibitive for me right now. I have an academic discount on the newest FCP program and so can get that at half price, which frees up some cash for the computer system (I also get a small discount on that too, so if I can buy new, I will indeed). I have about $5,000 to spend on the whole system, including monitors and a LaCie storage drive. So, all suggestions gratefully considered!

Lynne


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Bugsy
Re: hardware for FCP system
on Jan 26, 2007 at 11:29:24 pm

Also, if you're going to be purchasing FCP Studio and not just FCP you'll need a computer that has the ATI Radeon 9650 (I think this is the model) or later for Motion to work. It won't install unless you have at least that. You can't even try the demo version without it.

Bugsy


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marguu
Re: hardware for FCP system
on Jan 27, 2007 at 2:40:08 am

Thank you for that latest piece of advice. I am planning on purchasing the newest FCP studio package. Now I'm thinking perhaps I'll spend the bulk of my cash on a new computer, and get used monitors to save some bucks. Can you advise me on what configuration of G5 I should get? Thanks.

Lynne


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Bugsy
Re: hardware for FCP system
on Jan 30, 2007 at 10:11:50 pm

I'm having a hard time finding any non-Intel Mac's so I think you'll need to get any of the number of Intel Mac's. They all should do the job, it's just a matter of how much you have to spend. Apple has pretty much taken care of their products being compatible with the Intel chip but if you're going to use Adobe products (Photoshop, After Effects) you'll want to check on their website to see if they've updated.
And, as always, the more RAM the better.
I'm not sure what kind of editing you'll be doing but if going in and coming out Firewire isn't going to be good enough check out AJA's line of interface/capture cards. Most of them plug in to the computer's Firewire port so make sure you purchase a separate Firewire 800 card to plug hard drives into. (mine is from G-Tech), as the AJA sucks up most of the bandwidth of the computer's Firewire port.

Good luck,

Bugsy


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Bob Vick
Re: hardware for FCP system
on Jan 27, 2007 at 3:28:08 am

[Bugsy] "you'll need a computer that has the ATI Radeon 9650"

Is this available in the MacBook Pro? I am wanting to set up a system using a MacBook Pro for DV editing. I need it for an office machine as well, so Windows will be installed. I was hoping to for advice as for the best ext drive to get. I see the Cal Digit is pretty attractive. And what cards are needed. I will be using FCP (Studio) would be great, photoshop and Office. Shooting Mini DV or DVCPRO 50 in the future.

bob


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Bugsy
Re: hardware for FCP system
on Jan 30, 2007 at 10:03:57 pm

Sorry for the delay.
A coworker of mine just got a MacBook Pro and FCP Studio (including Motion) work fine with it.
As far as drives, I'm not familiar with Cal Digit but I have had extensive experience with G-Tech's G-RAID. You should consider this if you're going to edit DVCPRO 50. It has the speed to handle it. At minimum I believe Maxtor makes drives that stripe two drives into an array (like the G-RAID) and offers Firewire 800 throughput.
I don't edit on a laptop, but on my G5 I have a separate Firewire 800 card to plug the drive into and I use the computer's Firewire card for my AJA IO LA interface/capture card. Otherwise the bandwidth taken up by the AJA renders your external drive useless and you'll be crashing every 5 minutes.
Hope that begins to help.

Bugsy


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debbimita
CalDigit's Express card for MBP
on Feb 1, 2007 at 7:42:48 pm

[Bob Vick] ". I see the Cal Digit is pretty attractive. And what cards are needed"

http://www.caldigit.com/FASTA-1ex.asp

it is to connet their SATA RAID to MBP.


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walter biscardi
Re: hardware for FCP system
on Feb 1, 2007 at 8:16:14 pm

[Bob Vick] "I see the Cal Digit is pretty attractive. And what cards are needed. I will be using FCP (Studio) would be great, photoshop and Office. Shooting Mini DV or DVCPRO 50 in the future."

You just order the card with the CalDigit unit. It's all proprietary hardware and it just screams. We've got the 3.7TB S2VR HD running here and it's cutting HD all day, everyday.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
http://www.biscardicreative.com
HD Editorial & Animation for Food Network's "Good Eats"
HD Editorial for "Assignment Earth"

"I reject your reality and substitute my own!" - Adam Savage, Mythbusters


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